Application for consent by Woodside Energy (Ireland) Pty Ltd for a geotechnical investigation involving collection of cores from 22 shallow boreholes throughout the Atlantic Margin.
An application for Ministerial consent for a geotechnical investigation was received on 30 March 2020, from Woodside Energy (Ireland) Pty Ltd, currently holders of Petroleum Prospecting Licence PPL 1/20, granted by the Minister for Communications Climate Action and Environment pursuant to Section 9 of the Petroleum Act 1960. The applicant is proposing to conduct a geotechnical investigation, involving the collection of cores from up to 22 shallow boreholes distributed throughout the Irish Atlantic Margin (Figure 1.1 - Map of Proposed Boreholes) at water depths ranging from approximately 50 to 2,600 metres.
The cores will be obtained using a geotechnical survey vessel which will visit each individual borehole location in turn. It is anticipated that survey operations will start between June and early August 2020 or similar period in 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and contractor availability. This project will take up to 40 days including operational time, transit between locations and allowances for weather downtime. The 22 locations shown in Figure 1.1, represent the maximum number of boreholes to be investigated. It is possible that some locations may not proceed due to time constraints or technical difficulties. The purpose of the investigation is to improve overall understanding of the offshore geology west of Ireland. This is a standalone investigation and not related to any planned oil and gas exploration activity for Woodside. The data obtained will be given to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment's (DCCAE) Petroleum Affairs Division (PAD) for public/industry use.
The public are invited to make submissions in relation to this application. Submissions can be sent to PADadmin@dccae.gov.ie. By responding to the consultation, respondents consent to their name being published online with the submission. The Department will redact personal addresses and personal email addresses prior to publication. We would draw your attention to the Department's Data Privacy Statement and Data Privacy Notice.
The Department accepts petitions from the public. However, where petitions are submitted, each Petition Organiser should be aware that details provided by petition signatories when signing the petition (e.g. names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers etc) is categorised as 'personal data' which is subject to GDPR (EU Regulation 2016/679 'General Data Protection Regulation 2018'). Petition Organisers are Data Controller in respect of any personal data provided by petition signatories. Accordingly, where petitions are submitted you are required to confirm in your submission that:
all individuals whose personal data is provided in the Petition have consented to the processing of their personal data by the Petition Holder and the Department (as outlined in our Privacy Statement above),
that you otherwise have a legal basis (please specify) for providing such personal data to the Department for the purposes of participation in this consultation.
This application was posted on the Department's website on 31 March 2020 and any submission received by close of business on 2 May 2020 will be considered by the Minister.
Update 23 June 2020
EIA Screening Assessment: Further Information Request
Having considered the documents submitted by Woodside Energy (Ireland) Pty Ltd with their application, having regard to, inter alia, the requirements of the EIA Directive (Directive 2011/92/EU, as amended), in particular Article 4(4) and Annex IIA thereof, the observations received from notified bodies and further to public consultation on the application and the recommendation of external environmental consultants Ramboll UK Limited, it is considered that further information is required from the applicant to enable an EIA screening assessment be carried out on the Woodside application.
On 23 June 2020, the further information considered necessary to enable an EIA screening assessment and determination be made in respect of the Woodside application was sought from the applicant.
When received, the additional information will be published on the Department website and further submissions invited to be made on the additional material during a supplemental consultation period of 14 days. Any submissions received will be taken into account in carrying out an EIA Screening Assessment in respect of this application.
Update 10 July 2020 – Appropriate Assessment Screening: Further Information Request
Further to Regulation 42(3) of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011-15 as amended (S.I. 477 of 2011), Woodside Energy (Ireland) Pty Ltd. have been directed to provide further information considered necessary to enable screening for Appropriate Assessment be carried out on the application.
When received, the additional information will be published on the Department website and further submissions invited to be made on the additional material for the purposes of the AA Screening Assessment, during a supplemental consultation period of 14 days. Any submissions received will be taken into account in any final AA Screening Determination made in respect of this application.